VIDEO Love That Will Not Let Go

Mary Magdalene both clung to the risen Christ and went out to bear witness.

 

Love That Will Not Let Go
Image: Fokus Good / Getty Images

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me … Go instead to my brothers and tell them ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”—John 20:16–17

The Resurrection is an unprecedented event in history. In the words of C. S. Lewis, it is a miracle of the New Creation. Something of which the world has had no previous experience at all has entered the old order and radically altered it. The great reversal has begun. The new wine has burst the old wineskins. Even familiar relations with Jesus in the old creation no longer suffice. Now, it seems he can only be recognized by those to whom he chooses to reveal himself.

The story of the Resurrection is also the story of human love at its best. When all else fails—even faith and hope—love comes through intact. It may be weak in comparison to divine love, but it is strong enough to move the heart of the Lover. Such is the love of Mary Magdalene.

What makes Mary’s devotion to Jesus unique may have begun early in his ministry when he cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:1–3). Mary had known the terrifying power of spiritual enslavement and the exhilarating freedom of following Christ her teacher. Here was a Rabbi who treated women very differently. From that day, her admiration and love grew.

Mary followed Jesus to Jerusalem. When all the other disciples fled (Mark 14:50), she stood in solidarity with other women to witness his agonizing death on the cross (Matt. 27:55). Love refuses to be cowed. Love perseveres when hope is extinguished. Mary witnessed Jesus’ limp body being taken down from the cross. He was dead! But love will not give up.

She continued to follow Jesus to the point where she could go no further. The tomb was finally clamped shut. Sabbath was about to begin. She had to leave, but not without first taking note of where his body lay (Mark 15:47).

Mary could not wait for the Sabbath to be over. At the first streaks of dawn, she hurried to the tomb. Love drove her back. Perhaps all she wanted was to be with the Beloved—if only to run her hand over the cold, defiant rock that blocks the tomb’s entrance. But further dismay greeted her: The stone had been removed and the body was gone. Without a second thought, she hurried back and reported it to Peter and John.

John reached the tomb entrance first and hesitated, but Peter, true to form, barged in. The sight defied explanation, for they “still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). Peter and John tried to figure out what might have happened. They were practical men looking for plausible explanations, and finding none, they decided to leave.

But Mary lingered. She would not give up so easily. But where is he? Why? No, it can’t be—perhaps a jumble of foreboding thoughts filled her mind. Could it be the work of grave robbers? Perhaps anger welled up at the thought of unconscionable men desecrating Jesus’ body. Mary could take it no more; she broke down in tears.

She moved closer to the tomb and saw two angels. Their brief exchange suggests that they seemed harmless, ordinary folks. Just then Jesus appeared and asked: “Why are you crying?” But Mary could not recognize the voice. Thinking that he was the gardener, she pleaded with him to tell him where he might have carried away the body of Jesus, saying, “and I will get him”—I will carry him (John 20:15). She did not consider how she would do it. These are words of a determined woman. Whatever it took, she’d find the body and carry it back.

Was Mary so blinded by her tears that she could not recognize Jesus? Not likely. The Gospels record other instances when the resurrected Jesus was not recognized until he chose to make himself recognizable, such as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who only recognized Jesus through the breaking of bread. For Mary, the voice of the “gardener” suddenly sounded familiar when Jesus called her by name.

Mary’s love had been stretched to breaking point—almost. But then Jesus revealed himself and spoke her name in the familiar voice that she had heard countless times before. In the depth of despair, her “teacher” had found her. She recognized his reassuring voice. She instinctively clung to him, driven by love that will not let go.

But she could not make Christ exclusively her own. Love must at some point yield to the will of the Lover: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’ ” (v. 17).

Following Jesus had brought Mary to the brink of despair, but love finally broke through the old order. She became the first witness of the risen Christ and the first bearer of the Good News: The Father of Jesus is now our Father and Jesus is now our brother (Heb. 2:11, 12). But Mary was not a witness in the formal sense, for in her culture a testimony was validated by at least two witnesses and among the Jews, the status of a woman as a witness was a contested issue. What Jesus did for her can only be understood as an act of pure love in response to her singular devotion.

Mary Magdalene’s relentless pursuit of her Beloved exemplifies the spiritual quest for deeper union with God. Like other contemplatives, mystics, and saints in subsequent Christian history, Mary teaches us that love never fails—even when hope fails. It sustained her through the dark night of Holy Saturday into the dawn of Easter. Even as Mary clings to Christ, she also learns to let go. The ecstasy of her reunion with the Beloved was not meant to be for her alone to enjoy. He called her to go into the world and bear witness to the Resurrection: “I have seen the Lord!” From Mary, we begin to understand why love is the greatest theological virtue (1 Cor. 13:13). From her, too, we learn that however much we relish mountain-top experiences of intimacy with God, we must also descend to bring the Good News of the living Christ to a dying world.

Simon Chan served as Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Theological College, Singapore. Now retired, Chan is the author of several books including Grassroots Asian Theologyand Spiritual Theology.

This article is part of Journey to the Cross, CT’s 2019 Lent/Easter devotional, which is available for digital download here.

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How Great Is Our God


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Violence Against Christians Under-reported

April 22, 2019 by 

 

Violence Against Christians Under-reported

Easter Sunday — the day that Christians worldwide celebrate in a special way the resurrection of Jesus Christ from a tomb near Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago — was the occasion for six clearly coordinated attacks upon three hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka, an island country in south Asia, located in the Indian Ocean. While Sri Lanka gives Buddhism a “special place” in its constitution, other religions are allowed to operate freely.

Apparently, to cite U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), “some people did something.” The problem is that “some people” keep doing “something,” but the American media does its best to under-report it. In Sri Lanka, what “some people did” was attack St. Anthony’s Shrine — a Catholic church — and three hotels in Colombo — the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La, and Kingsbury — along with another Catholic church in Negombo, St. Sebastian. Negombo is about 23 miles north of Colombo.

The attackers were evidently attacking Christian churches in general — not just Catholic — because 190 miles to the east, the Protestant Zion Church in Batticaloa was also attacked.

In all, more than 200 people were killed and over 400 were wounded in a total of eight bomb blasts on Easter Sunday. Worshippers and hotel guests alike were murdered after bombs collapsed ceilings and blew out windows.

“People were being dragged out,” said Bhanuka Harischandra of Colombo. Harischandra, a tech company founder, was going to a meeting in the city’s Shangri-La Hotel when it was bombed. “People didn’t know what was going on. There was blood everywhere.”

At least 27 foreigners were killed in the nearly-simultaneous bombing attacks, with several Americans feared among those slain.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said, “only animals can behave like that.”

If so, then there lots of “animals” in the world today, because Christians are being persecuted, attacked, and murdered in numbers not seen in years. According to Open Doors, which tracks the numbers involved in Christian persecutions, “Today, just like in the book of Acts, Christians are persecuted all over the world for following Jesus.”

Every month, according to statistics compiled by Open Doors, 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, and 105 churches and other Christian buildings are burned or attacked. Worldwide, one out of nine Christians experiences high levels of persecution.

While North Korea is rated the most dangerous country for Christians (for the 18th consecutive year), Islamic oppression is behind the persecution of Christians in eight of the 10 worst countries. In Muslim-majority countries, Christians are discriminated against for jobs, violently attacked, or even killed.

And it is not just Muslims attacking Christians. Hindu nationalists in India frequently assault Christians, usually with no consequences from official authorities. And in the officially atheistic communist-controlled nation of China, Xi Jinping, the nation’s strongman, is increasingly hostile toward Christians. Vietnam has also stepped up its persecution in recent years.

In just 2019 alone, according to Open Doors, 4,136 Christians have been killed for faith-related reasons, and 1,266 church buildings and other Christian buildings have been attacked. Not unreasonably, when the historic cathedral of Notre Dame was set ablaze in Paris, many assumed it was a deliberate attack of arson.

Political commentator David Horowitz has recently written about the rising level of persecution in his new book Dark Agenda. Horowitz recently asserted, “The Easter massacre of Christians by radical Muslim jihadists in Sri Lanka is but the bloody tip of a genocidal crusade which has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Christian innocents since 9/11.”

Very little has been reported in the mainstream press about this ongoing persecution of Christians. The oldest Christian community in the world — found in Iraq — was wiped out by Islamists. The Christians there were either massacred, or the survivors felt it best to leave the country.

As Horowitz said, “The Christian temple in Mosul had featured Sunday sermons continuously since the time of St. Paul. It is silent now.”

In contrast, persecution of Christians in America pales in comparison to what has gone on in recent years in other parts of the world. And yet, even in the United States, a nation which has long prided itself in its religious liberty and has been seen as a refuge for people of the Jewish faith, for example, has seen a rising tide of discrimination against person of the Christian faith. Judicial and executive branch nominees have even had their Christian faith questioned by congressional committees.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, sensing that taking verbal shots at Christians is now a way to corral votes — at least in the Democratic Party primaries — has fired several verbal volleys at Vice President Mike Pence, all because of Pence’s Christian worldview.

This pattern of anti-Christian bias goes largely under-reported or mis-reported by the American media. While foreign Christian communities have been eliminated, the press in this country has said little to nothing. And inside the country, calls to reject presidential nominees to the federal bench or to the executive branch simply because of their religion has precipitated practically no condemnation at all from the national media. If anything, it is the Christians who are cast as the villains in their articles.

If the attacks in Sri Lanka had been on three mosques, there is no question the media in America would have made it a bigger story than they chose to do after murderous bombings on Christian targets. All attacks on all people, including Muslims in mosques, should be roundly condemned. But the rising wave of attacks upon Christians around the world is a story that our media is mostly missing, either because incompetence or something worse.

Photo: AP Images

https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/32078-violence-against-christians-under-reported

Unplanned, Captain Marvel, and the State of the American Church

I’m thrilled to hear about the great impact that Unplanned is already having. It has exceeded box office expectations and, more importantly, the movie is changing many lives. How wonderful to hear of Planned Parenthood workers who are resigning after seeing it. At the same time, we can be reasonably sure that many more American Christians saw Captain Marvel than Unplanned. Why? It’s because we’d rather be entertained.

Let’s focus on just one segment of the professing Christian population of America, those who identify as evangelical or born-again, amounting to roughly 40 percent of the populace.

Even if we cut that number in half (which is quite drastic), that would still be 20 percent of the nation, meaning 1 in every 5 people.

Now, let’s look at the box office totals for Captain Marvel and Unplanned.

The former has grossed about $386 million so far, the latter about $16 million, meaning that Captain Marvel has out-earned Unplanned by about 24 to 1.

You do the math. You tell me what movie Christians were flocking to see. The answer is obvious.

To be clear, I’m not criticizing someone for seeing Captain Marvel. I haven’t seen it myself, so I don’t know what’s in the movie. And I have no problem with believers enjoying some clean entertainment (again, I have no idea where Captain Marvel fits in that spectrum).

What I do know is this: Most American Christians are so apathetic about abortion that we can’t even take the time to see a powerful, even watershed, pro-life movie. Think about that for a moment, and let the weight of reality sink in.

It’s one thing to share the gospel in front of an abortion clinic. Or to adopt a child destined for abortion. Or to volunteer time to serve at a pro-life pregnancy center. Or to make a sacrificial donation to the pro-life cause. Not every Christian can (or will) do this.

But to see a movie? We can’t even do that? No wonder Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land.

Over 50 years ago, Scottish evangelist James Alexander Stewart addressed the superficial state of the church in the West. Of our public gatherings, he wrote, “The atmosphere of these meetings is so much like Hollywood that one might almost expect some comedian or film star to rush on the platform.” (Remember: He wrote this more than 50 years ago.)

He said:

I refuse to entertain sinners on their way to hell. . . . I want to preach every time as though it were my last chance. I do not want souls to curse my name in the lake of fire and say, “Yes, I went to such-and-such a Gospel meeting, but that preacher Stewart only entertained and joked. He made Christianity a farce!”

The old-fashioned method of evangelism was to make people weep, but the modern “Hollywood” way is to make people laugh. Everybody has to have a jolly good time. . . . We must have plenty of jokes or it would not be a good meeting. That is why there is such a woeful lack of conviction of sin in modern evangelism. The Holy Spirit cannot work in a frivolous atmosphere.

Here is a solemn truth that very few of God’s people seem to see: Everything depends on the atmosphere of the meeting. . . . For example, if you were saved in a jazzy sort of atmosphere, light and frivolous, with the song leader more like a clown and the preacher merely glorifying himself and using fleshly effort, you will also turn out to be a jazzy frivolous Christian with no depth in your spiritual life.

Does that not speak to the state of the church in America today? We would rather be coddled than convicted, entertained than exhorted, babied rather than burdened.

The famous missionary C. T. Studd also addressed the phenomenon of spineless, superficial Christianity in his little classic, “Chocolate Soldier.”

He wrote:

EVERY TRUE CHRISTIAN IS A SOLDIER—of Christ—a hero “par excellence!” Braver than the bravest—scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger, and death, whom he counts among his bosom friends.

THE OTHERWISE CHRISTIAN IS A CHOCOLATE CHRISTIAN! Dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. “Sweeties” they are! Bonbons, lollipops! Living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in his soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution.

And then this biting poem:

“I must be carried to the skies
On a flowery bed of ease,
Let others fight to win the prize,
Or sail thro’ bloody seas.

Mark time, Christian heroes,
Never go to war;
Stop and mind the babies
Playing on the floor.

Wash and dress and feed them
Forty times a week.
Till they’re roly poly—
Puddings so to speak.

Chorus:
Round and round the nursery
Let us ambulate,
Sugar and spice and all that’s nice
Must be on our slate.”

The good news is that, “GOD NEVER WAS A CHOCOLATE MANUFACTURER, AND NEVER WILL BE. God’s men [and women] are always heroes. In Scripture you can trace their giant foot-tracks down the sands of time.”

May that same spirit of heroism and valor rise up in the church of America today.

Or, if that’s too much to ask, how about a spirit of decency – enough to get us off our couches to see a life-changing, redemptive movie about the slaughter of the unborn on our watch.

Is that too much to ask?

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Why ‘Being Christian Without the Church’ Fails the Good Friday Test

According to the gospel of John, the cross casts us into community.

Why ‘Being Christian Without the Church’ Fails the Good Friday Test

Image: Illustration by Rick Szuecs / Source images: Unsplash

We Americans tend to be a sentimental people. This makes it difficult for us to look directly into the horror, shame, and degradation of a death by crucifixion. When Jesus says to Mary, “Woman, behold thy son” and to John “Behold thy Mother,” we often interpret this saying of our Lord as a sentimental invitation to take good care of your mother. I am a mother, and I definitely want to be taken care of! But this is not what the Fourth Evangelist, John, wants us to understand. In the Fourth Gospel, the mother of our Lord plays a quite different role.

In the side aisle of the chapel where I often worship, there’s a beautiful, unusual altarpiece. It depicts one of John’s memorable stories, the marriage feast at Cana where Jesus says to his mother, “Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour is not yet come” (John 2:4, RSV throughout). In English, this sounds very rude. In Greek it is more respectful, but we notice that Jesus does not call her “Mother,” and she responds to him not as his mother but as one of his followers—one who is beginning to have a glimmer of an idea about who he is.

She says to the servant, “Do whatever he tells you” (v. 5). She is learning to be his disciple. That’s what Mary represents in the Gospel of John. She does not appear again in the Fourth Gospel—except in passing and in company with others—until his hour actually does come and he is crucified. From the cross, once again Jesus calls her “woman” rather than “Mother.” Her identity as Jesus’ mother is not important to John.

In John’s gospel, Mary stands out as a particularly faithful disciple, one who follows Jesus through his ministry from the beginning even to its ghastly end at Golgotha. So when he speaks to her and to the beloved disciple (traditionally John himself) from the cross, he is giving two unrelated believers to one another. He gives his mother to him and him to her in a completely new kinship that infinitely transcends blood kinship. Mary, along with others, becomes a beloved member of the new family brought into being through the power of Christ’s death.

When the time of the Lord’s death approaches, Pilate, not knowing what he is doing, orders an inscription to be nailed up on Jesus’ cross: “The King of the Jews.” It is written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek (John 19:20). Hebrew is the language of the Jewish nation, but now—in this hour of crucifixion—the King of the Jews is revealed as the King of the empire, the true Ruler of the world and all the people in it. This is the hour of the remaking of the cosmos and the reconciliation of human relationships.

At the same time that his universal kingship is announced, Jesus turns his failing eyesight down to the people standing on the trash-strewn ground covered with blood and human waste and gives these two disciples to one another. These two who remain at the cross represent to us the beginning of the church in the moment of her Lord’s degradation and suffering unto death.

Taking the Gospel and the Epistles of John together, no writings in the New Testament are more concerned with the church than John. You wouldn’t necessarily notice this, however, if you read the Gospel of John without looking for it. Our typical American individualism tends always to focus on the single, supposedly autonomous person, so we typically read the Bible through that lens.

It’s true that for the first two-thirds of the gospel, John features a striking number of personal, intimate conversations between Jesus and single individuals: the Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, the man born blind, Thomas, Martha of Bethany, Mary Magdalene. These stories stand out because they are beautifully crafted by John, a master dramatist. So, most people tend to read the Fourth Gospel that way. But the overwhelming emphasis in John is not on individuals but on the organic connection that Jesus creates among those who put their trust in him.

This theme reaches its apex in chapters 15 and 16, during the last hours of his life on earth, when he teaches, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). There is no other way to be a disciple of Jesus than to be in communion with other disciples of Jesus.

The night before he died, he washed his disciples’ feet and told them, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you. … By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35).

He prayed long and earnestly for them, the “high-priestly” prayer of chapter 17: “Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as [you and I] are one” (John 17:11). The love that breaks down barriers, the love that “endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7), the love that forgets self and focuses entirely on the well-being of the beloved community—that is the love of the Father and the Son for each other and the love of the Son for us.

A beloved British play called “Journey’s End,” about soldiers in World War I, was recently made into a film. It’s an ensemble play with several actors and no stars. Each actor has his own individuality but each has more or less the same time on stage and each is equally important to the whole. In an interview about the now-past Broadway production of the play, one actor remarked: “[Our director] said again and again that everything you do onstage is for someone else, it’s never about you. That was such a wonderful thing to think of.” Isn’t that remarkable?

In American culture, we are urged on a daily basis to be good to ourselves, develop ourselves, believe in ourselves, and yet this actor understands how wonderful it is to think of participating in something that was never just about you, always for the good of the whole. That’s the church when it’s working the way it’s supposed to. This is why Cyprian of Carthage said 1,800 years ago, “You cannot have God as your Father unless you have the Church as your mother.”

These days, especially, it’s easy to dismiss the church out of hand. It can break your heart with its sin. It’s broken my heart a few times. Every day brings some new revelation about the awful things that have been done by the church. It’s much easier to say, as many do, “I can be a Christian without the church.” But this renounces a most basic and fundamental message of Jesus throughout his ministry, one that—as John dramatizes it—shows forth most of all in his death on the cross: He is giving you to me and me to you.

The disciples of Christ today as 2,000 years ago are drawn together in mutual love of our Lord. For all its sins, though they be many, the church is still the body of Christ himself. And there is no limit to the love of Christ that overcomes the sin within his body.

Fleming Rutledge, an Episcopal priest, spent 21 years in parish ministry before becoming a lecturer, writer, and teacher of other preachers. She is the author of The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ(Eerdmans), which won CT’s 2017 Book of the Year Award.

This essay was adapted from Three Hours: Sermons for Good Friday by Fleming Rutledge ©2019. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) Reprinted by permission of the publisher; all rights reserved.

 

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Who is the Holy Spirit and 10 Supernatural Ways He Empowers You

Who is the Holy Spirit and 10 Supernatural Ways He Empowers You

by  Brittany Rust brittanyrust.com

Who is the Holy Spirit & 10 Supernatural Ways He Empowers You

“The Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us.” –Billy Graham

The Holy Spirit is a beautiful and powerful part of who God is. We need Him in our life as a conduit to become who God created us to be, and through His power we have aid in all situations. Without Him, we are powerless.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

  • Our first encounter with the Holy Spirit is when He convicts us of our sin, shows us that none of us can live up to the righteousness of Jesus, and reveals to us the judgment that is coming to those who die without a Savior (John 16:8-11). As we repent, confess our sins and receive the gift of Salvation the Holy Spirit regenerates our dead inner human spirit which now becomes sensitive to the spiritual things of God (John 3:1-16; Acts 2:38).
  • There is a second work of the Holy Spirit when He baptizes a believer (Acts 2:1-4).  It’s available to all (Acts 2:39) and a gift of empowerment, helping the believer to live a holy life. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, we become more like Jesus and are directed to do the Father’s will. Furthermore, the gift is primarily for the empowerment to witness to others (Acts 1:8).
  • We are encouraged to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up on a regular basis. When you feel depleted or need strength, ask Him to replenish you (Ephesians 5:18).

It’s not enough to exist with the belief that The Father and the Son are first and the Holy Spirit is secondary. They are equal and work in harmony with each other. The uniqueness of the Holy Spirit is His presence within us. Jesus said before he ascended to heaven that the Holy Spirit would come and dwell within us as a believer. With that, He empowers us to live victoriously for the cause of Christ and glory of the Father.

Here are just 10 of the supernatural ways the Holy Spirit wants to empower you today.

1. The Holy Spirit is your Helper.

1. The Holy Spirit is your Helper.

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you,”  John 16:7.

When I think of the Holy Spirit, this is how I primarily think of Him: God with us, helping and empowering us to live a flourishing life that radiates the goodness of God. I don’t know about you but I’m constantly aware of my need for divine help. As my flesh fights for control, it’s the Spirit that steps in and helps me to be who God created me to be.

When you are feeling powerless or tired or like your failing at life, you can have confidence as a believer that you’re not alone. You can start each day knowing the Holy Spirit is there to help you. He is the power that sustains, energizes, and keeps you on a holy path. Do not hesitate to invite Him in.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

2. The Holy Spirit sanctifies you.

2. The Holy Spirit sanctifies you.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:11.

“Sanctified” means to be set apart as sacred. Essentially, it’s the purification of sin and spiritually maturing to become more Christlike. This is an important process for a believer–leaving behind the old and becoming a new person. But it’s a daily process, and it takes time.

The Holy Spirit wants to help you in this process of sanctification: to die to your old self and be all that God created you to be; to be free from the entanglement of sin and live victoriously.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

3. He makes you more like Christ.

3. He makes you more like Christ.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Moses experienced God’s glory on the mountaintop but we have communion with Him every day! Theologian Warren Wiersbe writes,

“Moses reflected the glory of God, but you and I may radiate the glory of God. When we meditate on God’s Word and in it see God’s Son, then the Spirit transforms us! We become more like the Lord Jesus Christ as we grow ‘from glory to glory.”

Our goal is Christlikeness and this takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit. While we focused on sanctification and the diminishment of sin in the previous point, this is rather a transformation into the image of Christ.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

4. He helps you to do the Father’s will.

4. He helps you to do the Father’s will.

“Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot,’”  Acts 8:29.

Throughout the New Testament we see the Holy Spirit direct people to do the will of God. He helps us tune into the voice of the Father and, in faith, do what we believe He is calling us to. Ask the Spirit to show you what the Father’s will would be for you today and ask Him to empower you to carry it out!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

5. The Holy Spirit gifts you for ministry.

5. The Holy Spirit gifts you for ministry.

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have,” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

The Holy Spirit imparts to believers gifts that are needed in the Church. Nobody receives all gifts but they are distributed among the Body of Christ, each person receiving different gifts. The gift(s) that you receive will empower you for the calling God has placed on your life. Embrace what God has put inside of you and be His instrument for Kingdom purpose!

* Additional passages of the gifts of the Spirit can be found in Ephesians 4 and Romans 12.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

6. He imparts love.

6. He imparts love.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,”  Romans 5:3-5.

We find love in our suffering. As we endure trials, God’s love is poured out into us through the Spirit and it’s this empowerment that carries you and I through the hard seasons. When you are doubting this love in your difficulty, remember that the Spirit pours it into your heart.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

7. He gives hope.

7. He gives hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope,”  Romans 15:13.

Hope as God hopes. This is only possible in abundance through the power of the Holy Spirit. And it’s hope that carries people through all trials and tribulations. Hope is fuel for the soul. Tap into this by His power and experience peace among your surroundings.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

8. The Holy Spirit teaches and gives insight.

8. The Holy Spirit teaches and gives insight.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you,”  John 14:26.

The Holy Spirit will give you insight into what you are reading and furthermore, will help you recall what you’ve read in Scripture. He brings to your mind understanding and truth.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you were in a situation and a Scripture verse you read or memorized years ago popped into your head, encouraging you in that moment? That was the Holy Spirit reminding you of what you had been taught.

He empowers you with understanding and the ability to recall important verses that apply to your life.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

9. He guides your prayers.

9. He guides your prayers.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words,”Romans 8:26.

Sometimes I have no words. Or I have so much to say that I’m not sure where to start. Ever experience that?

Sometimes we don’t have to have the right words–the Holy Spirit knows just what to say. Lean into Him and allow Him to express to the Father what needs to be said.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

10. He uses you for evangelism.

10. He uses you for evangelism.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth,”  Acts 1:8.

Telling others about Jesus and making disciples is our most important role on this earth. It’s literally the last thing Jesus said before he ascended into heaven!

Having the Holy Spirit with us means having power to be a witness. To tell people about what Jesus did for them on the cross and how he conquered death and reigns victoriously! Don’t shy away from being an advocate for Christ; it’s what you are called to do. Allow the Spirit to empower you for the Kingdom purpose of making disciples!

Brittany Rust has a passion is to give encouragement to the world-weary believer through her writing, speaking, and podcasting. She is the author of Untouchable: Unraveling the Myth That You’re Too Faithful to Fall, founder of For the Mama Heart, and hosts the Epic Fails podcast.  Brittany, her husband Ryan, and their son Roman make their home in the Rocky Mountains, pursuing outdoor adventures, great food, and memorable stories together. Learn more at www.brittanyrust.com.

 

Original here


The Holy Spirit

4/30/2008 by Matt Slick

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity.  He is fully God. He is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, has a will, and can speak.  He is alive.  He is a person.  He is not particularly visible in the Bible because His ministry is to bear witness of Jesus (John 15:26).

Some cults say that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a force (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 406-407). This is false.  If the Holy Spirit were merely a force, then He could not speak (Acts 13:2); He could not be grieved (Eph. 4:30); and He would not have a will (1 Cor. 12:11).

The truth is that the Holy Spirit is a person the same as the Father and the Son are within theTrinity.

His Names His Attributes Symbols of Sins Against Power in
Christ’s Life
God
Acts 5:3-4
Eternal
Heb. 9:14
Dove
Matt. 3:16
Blasphemy
Matt. 12:31
Conceived of
Matt. 1:1820
Lord
2 Cor. 3:18
Omnipotent
Luke 1:35
Wind
Acts 2:1-4
Resist (Unbelief)
Acts 7:51
Baptism
Matt. 3:16
Spirit
1 Cor. 2:10
Omnipresent
Psalm 139:7-10
Fire
Acts 2:3
Insult
Heb. 10:29
Led by
Luke 4:1
Spirit of God
1 Cor. 3:16
Will
1 Cor. 12:11
***** Lied to
Acts 5:3
Filled with Power
Luke 4:1418
Spirit of Truth
John 15:26
Loves
Rom. 15:30
***** Grieved
Eph. 4:30
Witness of Jesus
John 15:26
Eternal Spirit
Heb. 9:14
Speaks
Acts 8:2913:2
***** Quench
1 Thess. 5:19
Raised Jesus
Rom. 8:11

 

The Works of the Holy Spirit

Access to God, Eph. 2:18 Inspires prayer, Eph. 6:18Jude 20
Anoints for Service, Luke 4:18 Intercedes, Rom. 8:26
Assures, Rom. 8:15-16Gal. 4:6 Interprets Scripture, 1 Cor. 2:114;
Eph. 1:17
Authors Scripture, 2 Pet. 1:20-21 Leads, Rom. 8:14
Baptizes, John 1:23-341 Cor. 12:13-14 Liberates, Rom. 8:2
Believers Born of, John 3:3-6 Molds Character, Gal. 5:22-23
Calls and Commissions, Acts 13:2420:28 Produces fruit, Gal. 5:22-23
Cleanses, 1 Thess. 3:131 Pet. 1:2 Empowers Believers, Luke 24:49
Convicts of sin, John 16:914 Raises from the dead, Rom. 8:11
Creates, Gen. 1:2Job 33:4 Regenerates, Titus 3:5
Empowers, 1 Thess. 1:5 Sanctifies, Rom. 15:16
Fills, Acts 2:44:29-315:18-20 Seals, Eph. 1:13-144:30
Gives gifts, I Cor. 12:8-11 Strengthens, Eph. 3:16Acts 1:82:4;
1 Cor. 2:4
Glorifies Christ, John 16:14 Teaches, John 14:26
Guides in truth, John 16:13 Testifies of Jesus, John 15:26
Helps our weakness, Rom. 8:26 Victory over flesh, Rom. 8:2-4Gal. 4:6
Indwells believers, Rom. 8:9-14Gal. 4:6 Worship helper, Phil. 3:3

 

Original here

The Passion Of The Christian

David Kupelian explores what it really means to ‘take up your cross’
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

– Mark 8:34-37

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

– Luke 9:23

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

– Matthew 10:38

 


Every Easter, many dazzlingly eloquent words are written and spoken about Christ’s “Passion” – a singular historical event, graphically portrayed in films like “The Passion of the Christ,” “Jesus of Nazareth” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” That these screen depictions serve to powerfully rekindle many believers’ gratitude for what Jesus endured for their sake is undeniable. But I wonder, how often does that appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice ignite a fire in the belly of believers to “take up the cross” themselves?

But first things first. What in the world does “taking up your cross” really mean?

‘I die daily’

In ages past, Christians dwelt a lot more on the concept of taking up the “cross” than they do these days. Today, the phrase “it’s my cross to bear” is usually a self-congratulatory reference to the fact that we have to put up with a vexing medical condition, or a child in trouble with the law, or perhaps an overbearing, live-in mother-in-law.

Admonitions from the pulpit may not shed much more light. Oh sure, a well-intentioned minister will reverently read one of the scriptures cited above on “taking up the cross,” and he might even briefly plug the ideal of self-denial. But too often this amounts to a polite nod to a notion that seems both archaic and almost irrelevant, or at least unattainable, and the pastor just moves on to more pleasant topics – like how grateful we are for Christ’s death and resurrection.

It wasn’t always so. Throughout past centuries, Christian philosophers and mystics dwelt at length on the crucial, life-and-death need for repentance, resignation, “mortification,” the “crucifixion” of sin in man, and the “death of the carnal man” or of “the creaturely self” and so on.

The Apostle Paul said it most powerfully and succinctly when he wrote: “I die daily.”

Unfortunately, much of what has been written in more contemplative eras about this inner transformation of man is highly poetic and allegorical – an attempt to use mere words to chart the narrow path that connects man’s lowly estate with God’s heavenly one. Although such archaic language may be profound, it’s probably insufficient for Christians today, buffeted as we are on the outside by a voracious and atheistic secular culture, and on the inside by what is increasingly a simplistic and far less rigorous Christianity than that embraced by our forefathers.

Please allow me to take a stab at this, from a somewhat different angle – this command from Jesus Christ that each of His followers “take up his cross daily.”

Killing the creature

What exactly is this “creaturely self” that Christian thinkers throughout the centuries have so colorfully warned we must “slay” or “crucify” if we’re to inherit the Kingdom of God?

It’s self-evident that we’re all born with a troublesome nature called “pride.” Basically, pride is the part of us that wants to be like God. It loves being praised, quickly puffs up with angry judgment over the real or perceived wrongs of others – and as a rule is oblivious to its own faults. Moreover, you can think of pride as a “life form” – a living, breathing “something” which, like any other life form or “creature,” can be fed or starved. When it’s fed, it grows and enlarges; when it is starved, it diminishes and dies – daily.

As our pride – our “sin self” – diminishes and dies through obedience to God, the direct result is that our good side, our true God-centered character and identity, enlarges.

We’re not talking about matters of dogma here. Nor is this just a matter of outward behaviors and “works.” So please don’t e-mail me with arguments about “faith vs. works.” This is about real change – about transformation – the mystical heart of the true Christian life, about “dying to the world.” Not an archaic, poetic and hopelessly idealistic notion, but the very heartbeat of our everyday life, as we deal with stresses and problems (“trials and tribulations”) in our lives.

Of course – and this is something of a divine paradox – as Christians, we know we can’t save ourselves, and yet we are most definitely called to obedience. So, let’s not slough off our responsibility to “die daily” by comfortably presuming on the unending mercy of God. His mercy is unending, indeed, but also balanced with justice, and these two seemingly contradictory qualities work together mysteriously and wonderfully toward our redemption, but only in the truly sincere human soul that doesn’t tempt God.

A different kind of love

To understand what “taking up the cross” means, we have to understand why Jesus Himself had to suffer.

More pointedly, if our loving God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent – which He is – why then did His own Son have to be tortured and executed? Countless people throughout the ages have asked, “If God is love, why would he require his own son to endure such torture and death?” Indeed, many have judged God, concluding: “I could never worship a god like that.”

Although we say “God is love,” we don’t really know what either one is, do we? “God” is beyond our comprehension – like understanding infinity. And “love” – well, we use that word to describe our “strong feelings” for anything and everything we’re attracted to.

Let’s talk about real love.

There’s one element present in almost every authentic manifestation of real love among us human beings. And that is – are you ready for this? – suffering. From the ultimate expression of love – “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend” – to the simple act of being patient with others, love implies forbearance, longsuffering and kindness in the midst of problems.

Here’s how Webster defines “patience”: “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or anger.”

Certainly, Jesus’ words as he was dying on the cross – “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” – are the kindest, most patient words ever spoken.

Thus, patience is nothing less than the basic “cell” or building block of love for each other. The very idea of being patient implies suffering with grace. The recipient of your patience – say, your spouse or child – experiences that patience as love, just as they experience your impatience as a lack of love.

Still, why is love inextricably tied to suffering?

Just think: God is the architect of an awesome expanding universe involving heavenly bodies and distances and speeds and temperatures beyond human comprehension, as well as of a never-ending microscopic cosmos of orbiting particles and universes within universes, all too small for human eyes or minds to conceive. And yet, there’s one thing the Creator of all couldn’t just … create out of thin air. And that’s love.

Oh sure, He loves us. But I’m talking about our love for Him and for each other – fulfilling Jesus’ two greatest commandments. The only way God could “create” loving children was for us to have a choice: a choice to love Him, or to be our own god – literally, a choice to make something more important than our own lives, well-being and comfort – a choice to love, in other words – and to be able to demonstrate that love, which involves suffering.

After all, if I compel you to “love me,” is it real love? Of course not. Love always involves a choice.

Jesus’ teaching that there’s no greater love than laying down your life for a friend doesn’t only mean that you have to be willing to die for someone else by jumping into a lake to save them, or taking a bullet meant for them. Remember, Paul said, “I die daily.” It’s a different kind of “death” that’s being called for. You have to be willing to let your pride-self die – for the sake of your “neighbor” – and particularly, for your family’s well being.

Small example: If someone puts you down or treats you in a cruel or unjust way and you become angry and upset, you’ve simply failed to find God’s love in that moment and to extend it to the offending person. All of us have fallen for this temptation over and over – I know I have many times. But if we are genuinely patient – that is, if we suffer the cruelty with grace, and resist the temptation to puff up with anger because our pride was offended – we can then respond to the other person with the energy and spirit of God’s love.

So do I need to be a martyr?

Do an Internet search on the phrase “Take up your cross” and you’ll discover sermon after sermon on the necessity of being willing to be tortured and executed for Christ.

“Are you living with a martyr’s attitude, that is, willing to suffer and/or die for the cause of Christ?” asks one sermon on the topic. “We are to be Jesus’ present-day martyrs, as millions in the past literally were proven to be by giving their lives for the cause of Christ.”

Others regard the “take up your cross” reference as a call to the celibate, monastic life.

And of course there are lots of references to the conflict between man’s “natural will” and God’s will, and how they are at war with each other.

Indeed, “taking up the cross” has always been a common sermon topic. Most typically, listeners are admonished to visit the sick, feed the poor, put their spouse’s desires ahead of their own, tithe and volunteer time for church work, and the like. And while these are all fine actions to take, the problem is, one can do all of them and still remain the same faithless, resentful, doubtful, guilt-ridden, but heavily compensated “nice” person. Worse, the approval and adulation we receive from others for our “good works” often serves to further blind us from seeing and repenting of our well-concealed sinful nature.

The point is, we’re not so much in need of a behavior change as we are of a nature change. The “cross” Christ prescribes for us is an instrument of death. But just as He died to bring life, we are supposed to “die” to sin that we may share His life.

All of which boils down to this: The real “cross” we have to bear is that we have a fallen nature, which we need to understand and relate to properly — which allows God to change us.

Let’s start with an obvious example – sex. Men in particular are born with a sexual nature that needs to be restrained. If not, men would want to express this drive virtually all of the time. Obviously, men need to control this “animal nature” or “creaturely self.”

Likewise, what if somebody wrongs you so egregiously that you have an impulse to do him bodily harm? You better restrain that impulse too, right?

So much for the obvious. How about something more subtle?

Let’s say we suffer from envious thoughts. To covet is to break one of the 10 Commandments. So how do we deal with these troublesome feelings? How do we “restrain” them? Certainly not by wallowing in them and indulging them. But also not by repressing them, or attempting to manufacture “good” thoughts and feelings in their place. The Christian answer might be to pray, but what form of prayer? Try this out: If you notice envious thoughts, just observe them – honestly, sincerely, without escaping or trying to change them or making excuses for them or justifying them or getting upset over them. Just see what you see, with poise and dignity – and quietly, wordlessly, cry inwardly to God for help. He will.

This is true transparency, which is resignation of your will to His. It calls forth the very process of regeneration, imperceptible though it may be to us.

Put another way, “dying” to the world is like fasting – but not from food. The real “fast” God desires is that we fast from evil thoughts, from anger, from envy, from lust, from greed and so on. He wants us to abstain from being irritated by provocations, from becoming impatient and angry toward others, from temptation of all sorts.

The truth is, we’re never closer to God than when we’re just plain quiet and still, aware of all of our defects in each precious moment, looking at ourselves first and foremost, without judgment or worry, and having quiet faith that God is there with us and that He will help us.

Shortly before His Passion and death, Jesus gave his disciples what He called “a new commandment” – namely, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Of course, since He had previously brought forth the Old Testament commandments to love God “with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18), how was this Last Supper commandment then “new”?

It was new because He was raising the bar to a higher standard. He was now asking us to love one another as He loved us.

We are supposed to live the way Jesus lived, and to suffer the way He suffered. (I said, the way he suffered – with love for each other through obedience to the Father – though obviously not to the extent He suffered.) And, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that does not mean only sharing the Gospel of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection with as many people as possible. We are called to a still higher standard – to live as He lived – or maybe to put it more aptly, to love as He loved.

Love and logic

In the classic story of “Ben-Hur,” Judah, long-consumed by hatred and a desire for revenge against Masala for falsely condemning him as a galley slave and imprisoning his mother and sister, now lepers, witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus.

In the final unforgettable scene, Judah tells his betrothed Esther: “Almost the minute He died, I heard Him say, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

Esther, amazed, responds in a whisper: “Even then …”

“Even then,” echoes Judah. “And I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand.”

The real Passion of Christ must connect directly with our own internal programming and strengthen our own spirit, as it did in the story of “Ben-Hur.” We too must die the death God has prescribed for us – the death of pride, the ancient compulsion to be our own god – that we may share the true life He prepared for us, and which His Son purchased so dearly for us.

One of the main reasons I’m a Christian is simply because it makes so much sense to me. If God wanted to demonstrate His love for mankind, how else could He do it? Go ahead, tell me! What could He do to demonstrate the depth of His love? Make mountains of pomegranates for everyone? Give everyone a great job and a big house and three luxury cars? Give us everything our proud little hearts desire?

No, if God wanted to demonstrate His love for us, and at the same time provide us with the perfect, ultimate example of real love for our fellow man, what could be a more perfect expression of love than the willing suffering and death of His Son – Who while dying asked God to forgive His tormentors? The sheer beauty, logic and power of it is transcendent. If you’re looking for love in this loveless world, that’s it.

I know some will be offended by this message, as though by even mentioning and holding up the standard Jesus clearly demanded of His followers, I am somehow denying the sufficiency of His substitutionary death for all mankind.

But you see, there’s something really wrong with today’s Christianity. Over 70 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians, but our country’s government, laws, culture and institutions, from its education system to its entertainment industry – are increasingly and overtly hostile to Christianity. Even Christian families all too often are falling apart. Clearly, we’re missing something big.

So, can you handle a little tough love? Here it is: Just continually telling each other about Jesus’ death and resurrection is not enough. It’s not what He taught. Jesus didn’t say, “Just talk about me and you’ll be saved.” Rather, He said: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) And “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10) And “… he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13 KJV)

So, while as Christians during the Easter season we reflect on the Messiah’s suffering and sacrifice, the question is: What are we willing to suffer and sacrifice? Can we face our own sinfulness? It’s the one enemy most of us don’t really want to confront.

To take up our cross – to “lose our life” for His sake so that we “shall save it” – we need to repent. And we cannot repent without looking in the mirror and honestly facing the sin in our minds and hearts. To stand transparent before God so He can heal us through understanding and repentance may be as hard as watching Jesus being scourged and crucified, but watch it we must.

God honors the sincere soul who, with quiet dignity, simply faces the darkness within and repents. This is the heartbeat of our life, without which there is no real life. Each of us has this moment-to-moment choice to make, whether to defend, excuse and enlarge our sinful, hell-bent nature, or whether to pick up our cross, deny our (wrong) self, and follow Jesus – first to death, and then to life.

https://www.wnd.com/2004/02/23485/

VIDEO Unseen undercover abortion videos to go public

2-week hearing set for reporters who revealed baby-body-parts-for-sale scheme
April 21, 2019 by Bob Unruh

 

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

An undercover-video investigation that exposed the abortion industry’s sale of body parts of unborn babies will be the focus of a two-week preliminary hearing in a California court.

The case centers on the conflict between the First Amendment-based right of reporters to video people in public places and California’s privacy laws.

California brought the complaint against David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, who released more than a dozen videos in 2015 capturing Planned Parenthood executives and others negotiating for higher prices for body parts.

The videos, which are still available online, prompted some states to pull funding for abortionists and adopt new rules. The U.S. House and Senate investigated and sent referrals for criminal investigation to the Department of Justice.

But the abortionists responded with civil lawsuits against Daleiden and his organization. And they convinced pro-abortion Attorney General Xavier Becerra in California to pursue state privacy violation charges.

The Thomas More Society on Friday it will have lawyers in court Monday for the two-week preliminary hearing on “non-consensual eavesdropping and conspiracy” charges.

California Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite will decide whether Becerra, whose political campaigns have been subsidized by abortionists, can present enough evidence to require Daleiden and associate Sandra Merritt to defend themselves against 15 felony counts at a full-dress jury trial later this year.

“This hearing will mark the first time that the anonymous abortion industry witnesses who complained that they were illegally videotaped will present sworn testimony in court. It will also be the first time that excerpts of the videos – capturing alleged involvement in illegal fetal tissue sales as well as the commission of violent felony crimes against human beings – will be shown in open court,” Thomas More said.

The reference is to videos obtained at a National Abortion Federal meeting that have been suppressed by a federal judge with his own links to Planned Parenthood.

WND reported in January on plans to depose abortion industry executives as part of the case.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, another legal organization defending the undercover reporters’ work, said Planned Parenthood executive Mary Gatter, who famously said wanted a Lamborghini, will be among the people deposed.

“Backed up by legions of attorneys from two national law firms, Planned Parenthood is spending millions of dollars to destroy a young man who exposed fetal tissue trafficking in the abortion industry,” Charles LiMandri, FCDF’s chief counsel, said earlier. “We have no doubt that officials’ testimonies will shed a light on Planned Parenthood’s illegal operations.”

Here are two of the videos released by CMP:

One of the videos that has been suppressed by Judge William Orrick includes more details about the industry.

It was available only briefly online.

However, transcripts of comments by abortion executives have been preserved.

Lisa Harris, medical director for Planned Parenthood of Michigan: “Our stories don’t really have a place in a lot of pro-choice discourse and rhetoric, right? The heads that get stuck that we can’t get out. The hemorrhages that we manage.”

Susan Robinson of Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte in San Jose, California: “The fetus is a tough little object and taking it apart, I mean taking it apart, on day one is very difficult.’

Talcott Camp, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Health Freedom Project: “I’m like oh my god! I get it! When the skull is broken, that’s really sharp. I get it, I understand why people are talking about getting that skull out, that calvarium.”

Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “You know, sometimes she’ll tell me she wants brain, and we’ll, you know, leave the calvarium in ’til last, and then try to basically take it, or actually, you know, catch everything, and even keep it separate from the rest of the tissue so it doesn’t get lost.”

Uta Landy, founder of the Consortium of Abortion providers for Planned Parenthood: “An eyeball just fell down into my lap, and that is gross.”

Her comment was followed by raucous laughter from the abortionists at the meeting of the National Abortion Federation.

In December 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred the Planned Parenthood Federation of American and six regional affiliates to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation.

Operation Rescue noted little attention was given to the issue under President Obama, but after Donald Trump moved into office, the investigations “appeared to show signs of life.”

See a CMP video about Planned Parenthood skirting federal law:

The “Lamborghini” executive:

Paying attention to who’s in the room when infants are born alive:

Altering abortion procedures:

Selling body parts a “valid exchange”:

https://www.wnd.com/2019/04/unseen-undercover-abortion-videos-to-go-public/